10 true causes of fibromyalgia that your doctor will never tell you about

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It is estimated that fibromyalgia affects nearly 6 million or 1 in 50 people. Fibromyalgia is classically characterized by chronic pain particularly muscle pain, fatigue, sleep disturbances, brain fog or cognitive impairment, depression and painful tender points throughout the body. Conventional medicine has yet to uncover the cause of fibromyalgia and only offers management of symptoms through pain medications and antidepressants.

Functional medicine, on the other hand looks to find the root cause of fibromyalgia and other chronic diseases, treating the problem at the root level thereby restoring the patient to health. As a functional medicine physician, I have helped many patients recover from fibromyalgia. Below are the top ten root causes of fibromyalgia I see in my clinic.

10 Root Causes Of Fibromyalgia

Gluten Intolerance: Gluten has been liked to more than 55 diseases and is often called the ‘big masquerader’. The reason for this is that the majority symptoms of gluten intolerance are not digestive in nature but rather neurological such as pain, cognitive impairment, sleep disturbances, behavioral issues, fatigue and depression.

Candida Overgrowth: Candida is a fungus or yeast, and a very small amount of it lives in your intestines. However, when overproduced, candida breaks down the wall of the intestines and penetrates the bloodstream, releasing toxic byproducts into your body causing a host of unpleasant symptoms such as brain fog, fatigue, digestive issues and pain. Virtually every one of my patients with fibromyalgia has had Candida overgrowth.

Thyroid: More than half of the people with thyroid issues have no idea they have one and 90% of these have hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid gland. It is vital that your doctor check six different blood markers to measure your thyroid gland’s function. It’s imperative that your doctor use the optimal levels rather than the standard reference range when assessing and diagnosing thyroid disorders. Getting my patient’s thyroid levels into an optimal range, typically alleviates their fatigue, brain fog, sleep disturbances and depression.

Vitamin Deficiencies: Magnesium, vitamin D and B12 deficiency are the most common vitamin deficiencies I see in those who have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I have had several patients completely reverse their fibromyalgia symptoms with magnesium alone. The best way to measure magnesium is a red blood cell (RBC) magnesium level, which can be tested through any conventional lab.

Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) and Leaky Gut: There are more bacteria in us and on us then there are of our own cells. When these bacteria get out of balance through use of antibiotics or a sugar-rich diet we can lose our ability to digest and absorb nutrients, particularly B12. Gluten can cause SIBO and leaky gut and SIBO and leaky gut can lead gluten and other food intolerances. It’s a catch-22 and a vicious cycle. You must ‘fix the gut’ first in anyone with fibromyalgia or any chronic illness.

Adrenal Fatigue: Adrenal fatigue is a result of the chronic stress whether real or perceived. Chronic pain is a stress to the adrenal glands, though typically not the initial adrenal stressor. The initial stressor is usually something such as food intolerances, Candida, mercury toxicity, vitamin deficiencies or mycotoxins. My goal is to support the adrenals with adaptogenic herbs while we search for the root cause of the stress and correct it.

Mycotoxins: Mycotoxins are very toxic substances produced by toxic molds. Only about 25% of the population carries the genes to be susceptible to the effects of mycotoxins. Conventional environmental mold testing only tests for levels of mold spores and does not test for mycotoxins. I use a urine mycotoxin test in my clinic to determine if someone has been exposed to toxic molds.

Mercury Toxicity: I recommend that all my patients find a biological dentist and have their mercury amalgam fillings removed. Mercury is toxic to our bodies and can be one piece of the puzzle for those with fibromyalgia and other chronic illnesses such as chronic fatigue syndrome, autoimmune diseases, neurological disorders and cancer. I then recommend heavy metal testing using a pre and post DMPS urine challenge test.

MTHFR Mutations: This is a genetic test you can get though any conventional lab. The more mutations you have at the MTHFR gene the less able you are to methylate and detoxify particularly toxins such as mercury and lead. The more mutations you have at this gene the higher your requirements for methyl-B6, methyl-B12 and folinic acid in order to keep your detoxification pathways working properly.

Glutathione Deficiency: Glutathione, a molecule, is the most critical part of our body’s detoxification system. Glutathione gets recycled in our body unless our toxic burden gets to high or we lack GSTM1 and GSTP1, the enzymes needed to recycle and produce glutathione. Taking glutathione or the precursors (NAC, alpha lipoic acid, milk thistle) often help my patients dramatically with fatigue.

As you can see from the above list, many of these causes are interrelated and often there is no one single root cause to fibromyalgia or any chronic illness. It is a combination of several or possibly all of the above. Because getting to the root cause can be complex, I recommend that you find a functional medicine physician in your area to help uncover the root cause for you. You do not need to suffer needlessly or mask your symptoms with pain medication and antidepressants. There are doctors like myself who can help you!

Dr. Amy Myers, M.D. is a renowned leader in Functional Medicine. She has helped thousands around the world recover from chronic illness through her dietary based program, The Myers Way. Her book: The Autoimmune Solution was released in January 2015 by Harper One.

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11 thoughts on “10 true causes of fibromyalgia that your doctor will never tell you about

  1. Kathryn Eddy

    Reading about mercury amalgam fillings and it’s relation to fibromyalgia!
    I have fibromyalgia and Psoriatic arthritis! I also has mercury poisoning as a small child, would this be of interest?

    Reply
  2. Angela Rosa

    You have given me hope again! At only 34 years old, these past few years have been horrible! I deny to take any medication so most people think I must be ok. But im not! Desperate for a cure, I ALWAYS have said if I can find whats causing it then I maybe can find a cure. I pray to God that insurance will pay for these tests! Especially the gut since my colonoscopy showed nothing but yet I know something is wrong in there. Ty for giving me hope. Maybe just maybe I am onto something.

    Reply
  3. Sherri lynn (Anderson) Wiebe

    Please help me I have had this for 8 years and it is taking over my life!!! Where I don’t want live anymore!!!!!

    Reply
    1. Marjorie Meadows

      Dear Sherri,
      I realize it has been more than a year and a half since your post about having fibromyalgia and it taking over your life to where you don’t want to live anymore, but I’m praying my response reaches you. I too suffer from severe fibromyalgia and totally understand the extreme suffering that goes along with it. I feel like people who share the same experiences are the only ones who can truly understand what the other goes through. For this reason, should you feel led to do so, I’d like to extend a hand of friendship to you. I don’t know where you live but I live in Jacksonville, Florida USA. Perhaps we could email, text or talk on the phone, whatever you are comfortable with. God bless you. Please know that even if I never hear from you I will still be praying for you.

      Reply
  4. Patti

    What about those of us who had something that triggered the Fibromyslgia, like Lyme disease (which they say mine is acute chronic now) in my case, which recurs– is that also a part of this vicious cycle?

    Reply
  5. Stephanie

    I have read various articles on this particular issue and am convinced I have Fibromyslgia, and having done various thyroid tests, the physicians are still not interested in what I have to say and remain miserable with all the symptoms, and would love some advice:)

    Reply
  6. Connie

    Wish there was a support system…to share feelings..thoughts…mostly feel alone and not understood…dealing with fms for 26 years…..

    Reply
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